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Two Special Teams

Monday, September 9, 2019
Coach McGuire on the Minnesota football field

Assistant football coach McGuire learned from NFL Vikings, Trinity alumnus

by Robin J. Johnson

Summer football training for Texas coaches usually isn’t met with cold mornings, or cool breezes. But for Trinity assistant football coach Adam McGuire, it did this summer. 

McGuire was one of three college coaches awarded the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship, which is designed for the professional development of minority coaches. The prestigious fellowship allowed McGuire, Trinity’s defensive backs and special teams coach, to work directly alongside the National Football League Vikings’ coaching staff in Minnesota, including Trinity alumnus Adam Zimmer ’06, the Vikings’ linebackers coach. 

“It was an experience that I could have never dreamed up for myself,” says McGuire, who obtained the fellowship with the help of head coach Jerheme Urban ’03 moving along McGuire’s résumé to Zimmer. “One of my off-season goals was to get an internship in the NFL, but once it happened, I was like ‘whoa’. I was able to learn from some of the best teachers in the profession, both on offense and defense.”

During his five weeks in the fellowship, spaced out over the months of June-August, McGuire first learned the operational aspects of the Vikings’ organization before working to build relationships within the organization with coaches and staff. In his final three weeks of the program, McGuire worked directly with full-time Vikings’ coaches that included learning the Viking’s strategies of game planning, film evaluations and scouting opponents. 

“I got to learn a lot about the game which has helped me better understand the big picture of how it all works together, but I also learned so much more about life,” McGuire says. “Some of the coaches were straight to the point, and others explained the why and how behind everything. It made me start to think deeper as to why I like to teach what I teach, but more importantly, how to teach it.” 

McGuire’s Trinity-network connection with Zimmer allowed him to ease into the NFL way of life and aided in creating a meaningful experience. 

“[Coach Zimmer] was very helpful with making sure I knew what was going on and that I was able to get involved. He allowed me to get involved with [the Vikings’] everyday drills, and teach me why he does them. He let me sit in on every meeting, and allowed me access to as much film as I wanted while there. He made it very easy to feel comfortable in their 

McGuire’s experience with the Vikings and Zimmer is already benefiting this season’s Tigers. 

“The better I am as a teacher of the game of football and life, the better our players will be, and the stronger our program will become,” said McGuire.

“My job is to make sure that the vision of my head coach is fulfilled, which means I have to be the best that I can be and have an impact on everyone involved in the program. We have adjusted practice based on things I've learned in Minnesota. I have also adjusted how I approach my individual drills for my guys. I've seen growth in our group since doing so.” 

Coach McGuire on the Trinity football field with players

Along with NFL teachings, McGuire and Zimmer talked about Trinity’s progress as a football program. 

“(Coach Zimmer) enjoyed hearing about the facility upgrades that have happened since he was a player at Trinity,” said McGuire, referring to Trinity’s current renovation of converting the Trinity Football Stadium from field grass to FieldTurf. “He was proud that the school was investing in the athletic program.” 

In addition to the Trinity network McGuire had with Zimmer, he also has personal ties with the Minnesota Vikings. His uncle was drafted by the Vikings, and ended up making a home in Minnesota. 

“I was able to meet family out there that played for the Vikings,” said McGuire, who grew up in Baytown, Texas. “They grew up in the same area I grew up in, but during a segregated time when they didn't have as many higher education options in the south. Getting to spend time with them and hear their stories was something I don't think I would've ever experienced if it were not for this opportunity.”

The fall 2019 season marks McGuire’s third season with the Tigers. Trinity begins conference play at home Saturday, Sept. 21, against Berry. 

Robin Johnson is an English Ph.D. student UTSA. She is an alumna of St. Mary's University in San Antonio where she graduated with a bachelor's and two master's degrees. You can reach her at robinjohnson646 [at] gmail.com.